Here are some pictures from the other night when Kevin and I were out.... the weather has been so awesome the past few days. It's been hot during the afternoon but the evenings are cool and calm, and the best part of late summer.


One of the marshes

Deer Norman checking out the apple tree

The best shot we got him, it was near dark so it didn't come out great - but clear enough. He's got two tears in his ear.


I decided with the last 20 pounds of tomatoes I had left to make BBQ sauce. Kevin cannot eat any store bought kind, so I thought I'd make up a few pints or whatever I get of some homemade stuff. It's still cooking. It's a very lengthy, very messy process - but it tastes delish so I'm sure in the end it will all be worth it. Especially some night I want to do up some ribs or something and can just open up a jar of fresh homemade BBQ sauce.
Pasta sauce


I've still got a bushel basket of cucumbers to start this afternoon. I've not been feeling well so that's been slowing this whole process down for me, as has having a puppy, and all the animal chores left to do. But I get an amazing amount accomplished in the afternoon and evening in between chores I think. Hardly anyone ever comes to visit us, but it seems whenever they do, they come first thing in the morning. Let me tell ya, it's not worth coming here until after 12 PM! Kevin is getting some loads of gravel brought in to fix our driveway since it's all back down to dirt from our water line/electric going in. I had to make poor Charlie and Kevin sit on the porch to have coffee which isn't that bad, it's a beautiful sunny breezy day. But with 7 Kakarikis, 2 Prairie dogs, three house rabbits, and two dogs in the house alone to take care of, I need some time to get cleaned up in the morning! Not to mention all the kids at the barn. One thing about living on a farm, the animals come first, in the morning they need to be fed and watered and cleaned and nothing else can get done until they are taken care of.
Kodiak taking a bath, one of the things that happen in the mornings... everyone has to get clean too!

Barley wondering if the wait is over and if he can be with the girls now....

Hello??? Where is the food?


Now it's 12:35 PM. Everyone has been fed, watered, cleaned. The puppy is napping. The adult dogs are napping, except for Norman the Chihuahua who is in the kitchen trying to figure out how he could get on the counter, wishing he was much much bigger or had a ladder. The Kakarkis are throwing seed all over the living room as they do - the Prairie dogs are building a brand new nest. All our rabbits sleep during the afternoon, most everyone does actually since it's the heat of the day. The goats are in the trees as usual clipping off all the good stuff and the Sheep are grazing.

I found the same Chipmunk in my oat bin this morning. Yesterday morning I opened it, stuck my arm in there and screamed when I felt something run up it. Of course I couldn't see what it was so I expected the worse. We have a Chipmunk in the barn who steals everything he can. He's been easy to spot since he's only got half a tail. Don't ask me why. He actually fights with the chickens over seed. They peck him on the head, chase him... nothing seems to bother him, including me. So I got him out of the grain bin, let him go. This morning, he's in again. I put my scoop in to get him out, he doesn't even panic today, just hops in and takes the free ride.... then he throws himself out of the scoop and right onto my chest! Ever had a Chipmunk fling himself at you? In slow motion it's actually quite frightening. So he clings onto my shirt, both of us in a state of complete shock and confusion... finally jumps off and then just sits at my feet taking all this in. Doesn't even run out of the barn, just goes over to the chickens and starts stealing grain as usual.
What is that on top of the hay pile? Why it's an Angora rabbit getting ready to take a nap. He goes up there when Flavious is loose... he's not a fan of the puppy.... yet.


Sometimes I have to wonder if things here are real or not. I came in the other night and told Kevin some of the crazy going on's and he said calmly "well, it's your family." Indeed it is.

I have been finding some of the best recipes lately. Yesterday along with finishing the tomato sauce and starting the BBQ (it's been cooking all night in the slow cooker) I managed to make Cinnamon buns from scratch, which turned out great - except they take much longer to rise than the recipe says. I found the recipe on it's a great recipe. I also would not use the bread machine to mix the dough - you really need to do it by hand. They take a fair amount of work, especially if you are working on five other things at the same time, but what can I say... I had a craving. In my house when someone gets a craving, I start cooking or baking.

I made Pork Soulvalki last night and it was sooo good. I've never made it before. Kevin can't eat the stuff made up in the store because of the chemicals so I thought I'd give this a try. It's super easy and it's so good you can't believe it - even if you live in the city, don't bother with take out when you can do this yourself. Just take a nice pork tenderloin - cut it into cubes, as equal sized as you can cut them.... put them in a large Ziploc bag. In a bowl mix the following:

1/3 cup (75 mL) lemon juice
1/4 cup (50 mL) olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. (30 mL) chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp. (5 mL) crumbled dried oregano
1 tsp. (5 mL) salt
1/4 tsp. (1 mL) black pepper

Marinade it all day (as long as possible, at least a few hours.) then stick it on some skewers and BBQ until done, about 5 minutes each side or so depending on how even you cut your chunks. Try to keep them even so they need about the same time to cook. You could put this in a Pita or salad, or do all kinds of things with it if you'd like. And you can use the same recipe for chicken!

I also made Greek style potatoes, just tossed some diced potatoes with fresh lemon juice (never, ever used that bottled stuff, I consider it a sin.) oregano, a little water, and about a 1/4 cup of Olive oil. Toss the potatoes and then roast them. I did up my all time favorite grilled Zucchini recipe (thanks Janet!) just peel Zucchini (and give peelings to chickens, pigs, whomever) then cut it into chunks and marinade it in Italian dressing and Old bay seasoning - grill until tender. It's so good I can't even tell you! It's so easy too, so there is no excuse not to try it.

Last but not least - I want to share this BBQ recipe in case anyone is interested. Like I said - labour intensive and messy, but isn't almost all canning labour intensive and messy? Otherwise what would be the point?

I use this website A LOT - they have tons of good recipes and helpful information... it is

I used there basic recipe but changed a couple things. If you can tomatoes in anyway, whole, diced, tomato sauce, etc.... you know that the first thing you need to do is get the skin of. So drop in a pot of boiling water for a few seconds until you see the skin split - it only takes a few seconds. Then quickly pull them out and put them in a bowl with cold water and ice cubes. Peel the skin off - and repeat until all your tomatoes have their skins off.

The next step is to take the core out, the seeds, and most of the water. I get a big stainless steel bowl and after removing the core and cutting the tomato into chunks, squeeze the water out of the tomato. It's not pretty - let me tell you. After doing that and then going to the barn, the goats and dogs can't figure out why I smell edible but am not. You'll have a lot less tomatoes left than you started with!

The next step is to get a big, big pot and toss the prepared tomatoes in it and start cooking them over medium low heat. Get your seasonings and veggies -

I used: about 3 cloves minced garlic, 2 big onions cut into chunks, a red bell pepper cut into chunks. ( the recipe says celery but I don't like it, either does Kevin.)

Then I put in:

2 teaspoon black pepper, ground
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (like, Tabasco®)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1½ cups of white vinegar

Cook this all up for about 1/2 - 1 hour. You can add whatever seasonings, veggies, and spices you'd like. This is just what I did. I like things spicy but Kevin does not, so I had to make a fairly mild sauce. You can make yours even more mild, or a lot more spicy.

Then what I did is put a hand blender to the tomato mixture and blend the heck out it - make sure you blend everything up. I then transfered it to the crock pot which I put on low and left on ALL night. This morning I got up and strained the tomato mixture using a regular strainer and a big pot. A food mill might be better but I don't have one - so I did it this way.

Then I took the strained BBQ sauce, and put it back in the crockpot where I am going to let it cook throughout the day to thicken up even more.
Boil em quick - then put them in ice cold water

Skinned tomatoes

The thick sauce slow cooked for several hours

Take the thick sauce and strain it


The end result: your homemade BBQ sauce!


Then put it in your hot sterilized jars and process it in the water bath canner for 20-30 minutes depending on what altitude you live at - the website is helpful for finding that out too if you are not sure. It tastes good and it sure smells good! It's worth a try I think, but not for the faint of heart work and mess wise.

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